Nabha Jailbreak mastermind Painda reveals links with drug mafia


MEERUT: A day after he was arrested in UP’s Kairana, Parminder Singh, alias Painda, who allegedly masterminded the Nabha jailbreak, has revealed that he has “deep links” with Punjab’s notorious drug mafia and some of its kingpins.

Singh’s confession, that he is a co-accused in a drug peddling case with infamous smuggler Jagdish Bhola, has once again revealed a narco-terror nexus operating in the border state. Shamli SP Ajay Pal, part of the interrogation, told TOI on Monday that Singh has also been accused of murdering a police officer, and in 2009, he helped an accused escape jail in a similar manner.

In August this year, Bhola was acquitted by a Jalandhar court in a case of smuggling 1kg heroin. A former wrestler and Punjab police DSP, Bhola was stripped of his Arjuna award in 2008 after he was caught by Mumbai police while peddling drugs.The acquittal had kicked up a political storm in the state with Aam Aadmi Party leader Bhagwant Mann taking it up aggressively and making it a poll issue.

Pal added that Parminder Singh has a long criminal history which came to light on Monday. “He has been booked under section 299/402 of the Arms Act in Shahkot PS in Jalandhar district. In 2010, he was booked for firing upon police personnel in Patiala. He is also wanted for the murder of ASI Gurdev Singh of Punjab police in 2013,” the SP said.

Pal said, “He is also wanted in several cases of vehicle theft. He has stolen at least six high-end vehicles from Ludhiana, Zirakpur and Mohali. After the arrest, we seized several sophisticated weapons and ammunition from his possession.”